Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 49 (10), 1541-9

Topical Antimicrobial Therapy for Treating Chronic Wounds

Affiliations
Review

Topical Antimicrobial Therapy for Treating Chronic Wounds

Benjamin A Lipsky et al. Clin Infect Dis.

Abstract

Various agents have been applied topically to treat infected wounds for millennia, but their proper role remains unclear. Topical therapy affords many potential advantages but also has disadvantages. Opinions differ on which clinical signs define wound infection and on whether quantitative microbiological studies are useful. Clinically infected wounds usually require systemic antibiotic therapy, whereas clinically uninfected wounds that are healing as expected do not require antimicrobials. There is controversy over how to treat poorly healing wounds with "secondary" signs suggesting infection; these may benefit from topical antimicrobial agents. Some evidence supports using topical agents for malodorous or burn wounds. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews suggest there are few proven indications for topical antimicrobials. Use of a newer, relatively nontoxic antiseptic (eg, cadexomer iodine or silver dressings) is preferable to use of topical antibiotics, especially agents that are available for systemic use. We provide clinically relevant information on currently available topical antimicrobial agents.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 61 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms

Substances

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback